Autumn 2007 Volume One Issue Four

The Fruit Vendor - J. C. Runolfson

Every season
has its fruit
so my stall
is always here.

I will sell you cherries
tart as spring
peaches gold as summer
pumpkins rich as autumn
and in winter
there are clementines to hoard.

At the moment they ripen
I pull up melons
pull down plums
pile them into pyramids
glowing in the sun.

What you crave
I can give you
if you come in the right season
grapes to make the headiest wine
juicy berries ready for cream
coconut like secret treasure
waiting for a twist of lime.

In my bananas you can taste
the beginning of the world
in my figs and dates
its infant beauty
in my breadfruit
every promise of its bounty.

But night too is a season
if you come then
I have other fruits
apricots fit for goddesses
apples crisp as the fall
pomegranates spilling their jeweled seeds
where the cherries sat this morning.

At night I'll give you
sliced pears and pineapple
lemons and kumquats
blood oranges
whole durian.

At night I hear your wanting
and harvest by the pale glow
of starfruit
hung from my awning like sky.

In the shadows I find what I need
by touch and scent
the hollow thock of cantaloupe
the oily tang of mango
you can taste
in the back of your mouth
before you bite.

I find what you need
in the shadows and
no coin changes hands
no goods are exchanged.

All you leave is a pit
a red, fertile seed
I plant in the sunlight
come morning.

Should the fruit grow
I'll sell it in season.

- END -

J. C. Runolfson's work has appeared in Goblin Fruit, Lone Star Stories, and The Sword Review, among other venues. She currently lives in San Diego, a great place to get fruit, magical or otherwise.

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